What’s going on in the northern Basin?
With heavy rain in the northern Basin last week getting the
Barwon-Darling River flowing again, RGA is closely monitoring the situation. As
of 9 March:
- 230-285GL is now
expected to make it into Menindee, starting to arrive mid-March.
- This water will
be enough to run a minimum flow regime in the lower Darling River for at least
12 months, and supply stock and domestic, as per the water sharing plan.
- The Department
will begin releasing water into the lower Darling as soon as possible, but the
block banks creating temporary weir pools as an emergency drought measure need
to be removed first and they need to plan for water quality issues.
- No floodplain harvesting (FPH) has been authorised on the
- FPH embargoes
have been lifted on Barwon-Darling tributaries upstream, such as the Namoi.
- Embargoes on A,
B, and C class river extraction licences have been lifted on the Barwon-Darling
as well as the upstream tributaries,
- These licences
allow pumping when the rivers are at running at trigger heights, and
progressively fall away as river heights fall, first C, then B, then A.
- The situation is
literally fluid. More rain is forecast in mid-March.
- We will keep you
updated, particularly on when Menindee flows could be expected to translate
into supporting NSW Murray GS allocations in the 2020-21 water year.
Information sourced from conversations with Minister
Pavey’s office, DPIE staff, and the following sources: Water
NSW and NSW
Department of Industry
Association of Australia